Student Cluster Teams Break Records at ISC'13

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At the 2013 International Student Cluster Challenge (ISC’13), the team from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), China, won the Best Linpack award and set a new record with 8.455 Tflops. The team from the Centre for High Performance Computing of South Africa won the Overall Best award, and the team from Tsinghua University ranked second in terms of overall score at ISC’13. It is China’s second championship at ISC’13 after Tianhe-2 claimed the lead in the Top500 list, and attendees were impressed by China’s rapid development in system research, application development, and talent education of supercomputers.

Jointly arranged by the organising committee of the International Supercomputing Conference, and the Advisory Council of High Performance Computing (HPC AC), the ISC cluster challenge is known as one of the top three world supercomputer competitions alongside the SC from the US and the Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge from China. ISC grants two awards, namely, Overall Winner and Highest Linpack winner.

Each team is required to structure on its own a supercomputer system with a total power budget of 3kW, on which two performance benchmark tests, namely, HPCC and HPL, as well as five application performance tests – GROMACS, MILC, WRF, AMG, and CP2K – would be conducted. It is an all-round assessment of supercomputer skills, experience, and knowledge of the teams in the competition.

Our team members came closer to and learned more about supercomputers through the competition. It is beyond their reach in the classroom. Just like the words on their T-shirts, they are the next generation of high-performance computing experts,” said Shi Xuanhua, the mentor of HUST team.

The teams from HUST and Tsinghua University won high recognition from participants and other teams for their strong overall strength. The mentor from Chemnitz University of Technology of Germany commented: ‘Chinese teams are impressive. Besides their commitment, they have extensive supercomputer application experience with a very broad view on problem solving.’

The three-day student cluster challenge was organised in collaboration with the HPC Advisory Council, and sponsored by Airbus. Here are the winners:

  • Overall Winner: Centre for High Performance Computing, South Africa
  • Best Linpack: Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), China
  • Fan Favorite: Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Costa Rica

Three teams reached more than eight teraflops during the Linpack runs, setting a new Student Cluster Challenge record.

This story appears here as part of a cross-publishing agreement with Scientific Computing World.